March 17, 2020 Cancellation of Public Masses
Statement of Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
Regarding Cancellation of Public Masses in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas
In conjunction with the bishops of Kansas, effective 1 p.m. March 17, 2020, and until further notice, all public celebrations of the Holy Mass in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas are cancelled except for funeral Masses. Funeral Masses must be limited to no more than 50 people, including clergy, assisting ministers, family members and friends. No funeral luncheons may be held. A funeral liturgy outside of Mass must be limited in size as above. In addition to celebrating the funeral Mass or funeral liturgy outside of Mass, families and pastors are encouraged to schedule Memorial Masses for their loved ones in the future, when public health restrictions are relaxed, so that larger numbers may gather if desired.
All communal penance services are cancelled. Priests should continue as much as possible to offer individual confessions at regularly scheduled times, including Wednesday evenings during Lent. Confessions are to be heard only behind a screen or other barrier and not face to face. At no time should there be more than 50 people gathered in the church.
Baptisms may continue but only parents, godparents and immediate family members who are asymptomatic may attend, and in no case more than 50 people.
I encourage all of the faithful to continue to join together in prayer for the health and protection of our entire community and nation, and for an end to this crisis. I encourage all families and individuals to pray the rosary, invoking the intercession and protection of our Blessed Mother, Health of the Sick, for these intentions and for the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters who are ill, for their caretakers, and for all doctors, nurses, medical and emergency preparedness personnel and elected officials. I encourage pastors, as much as possible, to post hours that their churches will be open for private prayer with our Eucharistic Lord present in the tabernacle. At no time should there be more than 50 people gathered in the church.
Do not come to any of the above if you are sick, if you have been exposed to the coronavirus, if you suspect you have been exposed or if you have been advised by a doctor not to go out in public or attend public gatherings.
March 13, 2020 Dispensation from the Obligation to Attend Sunday Mass
Statement of Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann Regarding Dispensation from the Obligation to Attend Sunday Mass
Effective immediately, and until further notice, I have dispensed the faithful of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass.
Despite the suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, all regularly scheduled Masses will remain open to the public for those who wish to attend. I encourage those who can attend Mass to do so and join together in prayer for the health and protection of our entire community and for an end to this crisis. In addition to attending Mass, if able, I encourage all families and individuals to pray the rosary, invoking the intercession and protection of our Blessed Mother, Health of the Sick, for these intentions and for the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters who are ill, for their caretakers, and for all doctors, nurses, medical and emergency preparedness personnel.
Do not come to Mass if you are sick, if you have been exposed to the coronavirus, if you suspect you have been exposed or if you have been advised by your doctor not to attend Mass.
March 13, 2020 New Directives to Pastors
- The faithful of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass
- All non-essential parish gatherings including formation activities are to be cancelled
- Not cancelled are regularly scheduled weekday and Sunday Masses, Funerals and Funeral Masses, and Baptisms
- Regularly scheduled individual confessions should continue, including Wednesday evening confessions
- All Confirmations scheduled through March 31 are postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date
- Pastors will decide for their own parish(es) on an individual basis whether to reschedule First Holy Communion Masses
- Holy Communion distributed on the tongue in the Ordinary Form of the Mass is hereby suspended. This suspension does not apply to Masses offered in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass). Faithful who do not feel they are able to receive Holy Communion on the hand, or those who feel the need to refrain from Holy Communion for any other reason, are encouraged to remain in their pew and prayerfully unite their intention(s) to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by making an act of Spiritual Communion
- The distribution of Holy Communion by extraordinary ministers to nursing homes, hospitals is suspended
There will be no celebration of Mass at nursing homes or assisted living residences
- Distribution of Holy Communion to the homebound is left to the discretion of the pastor
- Priests shall continue to administer the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum as usual
March 11, 2020 Directives
- Drain the holy water fonts
- Suspend the exchange of the sign of peace
- Suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion
- All those who serve at the altar should wash their hands thoroughly before and after Mass
- Clergy to avoid shaking hands before or after Mass
- Reinforce procedures for having extraordinary ministers sanitize their hands prior to distributing Holy Communion
- Clergy and extraordinary ministers should not touch those in the communion line who do not receive
- No hand-holding during the Lord’s Prayer
- Greeters to avoid handshakes
- In general avoid all physical contact
- Sanitize hymnals and pews on a regular basis
- Sanitize church door handles before and after Mass
- Sanitize restrooms regularly
- Provide hand sanitizer at all entrances
- Keep the gifts of bread and wine covered on the credence table in the sanctuary – no offertory gifts procession
- Ensure that all vessels used are properly sanitized per the manufacturer’s instructions after each Mass
- If possible, do the collection in a manner that limits the number of hands touching the basket
- Ask the faithful to not attend Mass if they are sick
The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has made these recommendations mandatory.